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$1500.00 Budget

Here’s a breakdown of the daily budget for every country in Southeast Asia (except for East Timor – which costs around $75 – $80 / day on the budget end). The following include visas, a few flights, meals, accommodation, beers, sights, tours, motorbike rental and whatever else a budget traveler may need.

 
Note: To make a relatively accurate budget calculation for your South East Asia trip, plan for $50 – $60 per day for a couple, which equals $1,500 – $1,800/month. Plan on $35 – $40 per day for one person traveling, which equals $1,050 – $1,200/month.


Thailand Budget

the cost of traveling in Thailand: ($50/day) This is a great budget for Thailand. Sleep in nice, fan-cooled beach huts, have a few beers at sunset, enjoy a western breakfast once in a while, but mostly stick to delicious Thai food. Every week or so you can go out and have a “bucket” party night. This will also get you into some temples, cover transportation in nice buses, boats and planes.

The following budget is specific to Thailand but can be loosely followed for all of Southeast Asia:

Cambodia Budget

the cost of traveling in Cambodia: ($45/day) Here you may get by on a little bit less than Thailand but much of the above budget will be exactly the same. Keep in mind that you will likely be using American Dollars here as well as the local currency, Reil. The reason you may save $5 off of your daily budget is that the rooms in Cambodia can be a bit cheaper. During your stay around Phnom Penh, the Killing Fields and Angkor Wat you may spend a bit more money, but trust us, the sites are worth it and it all evens out in the end.

Laos Budget

the cost of traveling in Laos: ($55/day) Surprisingly, Laos is slightly more expensive than Thailand. Rooms will cost you a bit more and for some reason so does everything else. The Southern regions of Laos have a tendency to try to “outdo” their tourist crazy neighbor and their prices reflect this. But Laos is worth every penny. Still giving you great value for money.

Vietnam Budget

the cost of traveling in Vietnam: ($45/day) This budget will get you into some pretty nice rooms in Vietnam. The value for money here is great. Nice a/c hotels with wi-fi can run you about $10/night depending on where you are, and which time of the year you travel. Delicious Phu (local soup) on the street will be around $1 and the transportation is affordable. The cost of renting motorbikes is also very cheap and we would recommend it. Also, if you’re into tours, you can get some great deals out of Ho Chi Minh City going down into the Mekong Delta.

Malaysia Budget

the cost of traveling in Malaysia: ($40/day) In Kuala Lumpur this budget would be difficult (probably add $15-20 more), but the rest of Malaysia is great value for money. You’ll find comfortable rooms for under $10, cheap flights for traveling across Asia (AirAsia Airline hub is in KL), amazing food for $1 or less and great buses at great prices!

Just keep your hands off of the alcohol if you want to keep to this daily amount. Beer in this Muslim country will rack up your budget quickly. Compare alcohol prices to North America ($4-5/beer) unless you’re on duty-free Langkawi Island where you can get that down to less than a dollar per can of beer.

Singapore Budget

the cost of traveling in Singapore: ($75/day) Wow! Get your wallet ready for Singapore and don’t come here during F-1 races or festivals if you want to keep this budget down. It is possible to live off of $60/day in Singapore but this is a big, exciting city. There’s no point in coming here if you’re not going to sample the nightlife, see some sights and indulge in some amazing cuisine.

Keep in mind that private rooms will can be around $50/night and taxis and transportation are comparable to western prices. You can hit up China Town or Little India for some cheap(er) beers and food.

Indonesia Budget
the cost of traveling in Indonesia: ($35 – $45/day) This is a bare minimum but still includes money for Bintang beers, local transport, basic huts and the odd snorkel or jungle trek. Depending on which island you travel to, Indonesia can be incredibly cheap and really sets the bar for the rest of Southeast Asia. Not only is it great value for money, but you still get to see and do all you would expect while keeping to a very low budget. If you plan to fly quite a bit between the island, you’ll need to add more to your daily budget. Check out the airlines of Garuda, Lion Air and AirAsia.

Visit the Komodo Dragons, trek volcanoes, surf in Bali, hike into the jungle, enjoy world-class diving, and see orangutans. It’s all at your fingertips…with money leftover in your wallet! When backpacking through Southeast Asia, make sure Indonesia is on your itinerary, it truly is amazing.

Myanmar Budget
the cost of traveling in Myanmar: ($50-$60/day) This budget will be rising with each passing day. Myanmar is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination and while it still remains cheap today, be aware that swarms of package tourists are beginning to descend on this tranquil paradise and their presence is driving the prices up quickly.

However, it’s still a great budget destination. Hire a boat for the day and see Inle Lake for less than $15/person. Beautiful rooms for around $20/night and great food for around $3/dish. Of course it’s not the cheapest place in the world, but it is great value for money and worth every penny.

Philippines Budget
the cost of traveling in the Philippines: ($60/day) This includes a few domestic flights (pretty much mandatory), some San Miguel beers, cocktails at sunset and nice (but basic) double rooms on the beach. The Philippines is extremely cheap, but the transportation (mainly flights and ferries) will bring your budget up substantially, but alcohol is cheaper than anywhere else in Southeast Asia. If you just stay on one beach and bum around, a couple can probably get by on $25/day. Amazing!

Brunei Budget
the cost of traveling in Brunei: ($60 – $65/day) Another budget buster. Brunei was once the richest country in the world, so it’s no surprise that it can be costly to travel here. Luckily, you’re likely only going to be stopping here for a night or two on your way through Malaysian Borneo. In fact, if you want to go from South to North Borneo without taking a flight, you’ll need to stay here. You may find a room for under $35 / night, but you’re going to want to see a couple of things in Brunei and those will cost you. But it’s worth it so don’t stay in your room all day just to save money!

Borneo Budget
the cost of traveling in Borneo: ($60/day) This is strictly referring to Malaysian Borneo which is considerably more expensive than mainland Malaysia. This budget will get you a double room, local meals, transportation by bus and entrance to some of the less popular national parks. If you want to climb Mount Kinabalu, see Mulu Caves, the Pinnacles, dive Sipadan or anything else, you’ll definitely need to increase this budget.

Many travelers leave Borneo disappointed when they realize that they could only afford to do one excursion. Climbing Mt.Kinabalu alone will cost a couple around $500! Other sights are comparable in price.

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